Thursday, October 14, 2010

Geocaching -- Trackables and Events

While this may not be the last geocaching post ever...
this should be the last one for... a while :)

The glitter and glue of geocaching: trackables and events.


One of the fun perks of geocaching are the trackables: travel bugs and geocoins!

Keychain TB in Banff, AB
Travel bugs (TBs) are items made trackable through the use of specially coded dog tags which you can buy. First, someone buys the travel bug dog tags, attaches one tag (and keeps one tag) to an item, activates the code online, and then places it in a cache for someone to find and bring to another cache. The finder will then log the cache site s/he found and then log the trackable that s/he found, hopefully adding comments.

TB: Aang, mastering earth
Why? For fun, of course! Often the travel bug is of some personal significance and maybe given goals. Goals range from simple ones of going the furthest, racing another TB, or getting to as many cache sites as possible to more complicated ones. And as the TB travels from site to site, it gathers little stories along the way if the finders add comments to the travel bug's page (where the finder logs it). More details and FAQ can be found by clicking Trackables

Croc Out of Water TB with Monty
Our first TB was a toy crocodile that wanted to be photographed with other reptiles. Some travel bugs have no specific goals, but we've hosted TBs aiming for specific destinations, a butterfly one that wished to be photographed with other butterflies, and had a TB that wanted to "master the powers of air, water, earth, and fire!" { Note, the dog tags are hidden in the photos so that the TB code would not show up}

Geocoins are like TBs without the tags and attached personal items. Geocoins are coins, go figure! They come in all shapes and sizes and commemorate all kinds of things. The trackable code is part of the coin itself.  As you collect geocoins (which you do have to log and release, like TBs), your geocaching account shows little icons for the ones you found-- you collect them virtually! Like travel bugs, geocoins can be given goals too.


The geocaching community often has some kind of local events on a regular basis. Edmonton has monthly meetings, and regular Cache and Release events (there's definitely a winter one). In the spring time, there are often Cache in Trash Out (CITO) events where geocaching is combined with the removal of trash! Actually, part of geocaching is that we should be observing CITO all the time, but the event gets the community together and makes it a social occasion. Any geocacher can set up events and have them posted. Some events are small and some are mega events. There's even GeoWoodstock!

If you sign up for a free geocaching account at Groundspeak, you'll likely get weekly newsletters sent to your email detailing all the new local geocaches and all local events. If you want to learn about newly posted cache sites as they are posted (thereby giving you a fighting chance to be the first to find-- FTF), then you'll need a Premium Membership ($10 USD for 3 months or $30 UDS for the year). Premium membership also comes with other perks too.


  1. That crocodile with Monty is so cute. I didn't know TBs could be attached to things like that.

    Thanks for all that info!

  2. Yup, they come in all shapes and sizes. I've even seen them just as the dog tags only (done on purpose and not missing the attached item). We picked up a piglet one and various coins too. It's all fun! I enjoy trying to help the TB in its goal, but usually the owners are happy even if the TB is kept moving and not stuck in one cache too long.


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